The Tigers beat Sale to face the Ospreys in the final of the EDF Energy Cup next month, but they expect a tougher task getting through in the Heineken Cup final which will also be at the RFU’s home.
“Europe is a whole different ball game, you have got a lot of very good teams all of whom could win it,” said Howard.
“The four teams in our part of the pool are extremely good teams – Munster, Llanelli, ourselves and Stade, any of those four could be the one in the final and we know only  a top class performance will do.”
Leicester’s chances may have been boosted by a string of injuries for Stade Francais Paris, particularly up front where the Tigers are so powerful, but Howard does not believe the balance has swung significantly.
“We have got a few injuries ourselves which always happens at this time of year and we know they will be a tough side because they have amazing depth,” he said.
“This is where the salary cap makes a difference because they have talent all the way through. We know it will be a fantastic match for the spectator I just hope it will also be a fantastic match for Leicester.”
Leicester earned their home quarter-final by becoming the first team ever to beat Munster at Thomond Park in Europe and Howard believes his team are back up to that standard despite the break for the Six Nations.